By Nseobong Okon-Ekong
In what may lead to another long drawn internal wrangling with dire consequences, some stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kogi State have sued the National Working Committee (NWC) on the adoption of indirect primary for the selection of the party’s flagbearer for the November 16 governorship election.
The stakeholders said the party may be heading for the Zamfara experience if it is not stopped.
In the Originating Summons filed by their lawyer, Oluwole Aladedoye, at the Federal High Court in Abuja, the plaintiffs are asking the court to halt the indirect primary proposed in the primary by the NWC.
The plaintiffs, who are members of Haddy Ametuo-led faction are the Ex-officio; Destiny Eneojoh Aromeh, Organising Secretary, Mr. Isah Abubakar, Zonal Youth Leader, Noah Aku, and Zonal Women Leader, Mrs. Joy Onu.
The stakeholders in the notification of the suit sent to the APC National Legal Adviser, Babatunde Ogala, prayed him to advise the party on the need to respect court processes and halt any action on the proposed indirect mode of the primary.
Among issues formulated for determination are whether having regard to the pendency of suit filed by Haddy Ametuo, Salam Adejoh (suing for themselves and on behalf of other members) of the SEC elected on May 19, 2018, the APC can adopt the indirect primary mode.
Whether the involvement of persons claiming to be members of the Kogi SEC during the pendency of the suit in the nomination of the governorship candidate would not amount to interference with the judicial process and run against the principle of sub-judice which would render the outcome of such primary illegal, null and void.
Whether the defendant can ignore the suit which seeks to determine the authentic members of the Kogi SEC, who constitute the delegates by adopting the indirect mode of the primary.
Whether it is not an act of disrespect for judicial processes for the defendant to adopt the indirect mode of primary in nominating its governorship candidate having been made a party to the suit, which seeks to determine the authentic members of the Kogi SEC, who will constitute the bulk of the delegates to participate in the indirect primary mode for the nomination of the governorship candidate.
The letter reads: “Notification of Suite No. FHC/ABJ/CS/833/2019-Destiny Enejoh Aromeh&Ors Vs All Progressives Congress Need To Halt The Indirect Primary Proposed for Nomination Of Candidate For Kogi State”.
“We Are Counsel to the Plaintiffs in the above matter, which has just been filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja. We are by this letter forwarding to you a filed copy of the originating summons filed by our clients. This summons speaks for itself.
“We trust that as a seasoned legal practitioner with several years of active legal practice, you will appropriately advise your party on the need to respect court processes and halt any action on the proposed indirect mode of primary for nomination of the governorship candidate for Kogi state in the forthcoming election pending the determination of this suit”.
A chieftain of the party in the state said, “There are two parallel excos in Kogi APC, one faction has gone to court to be recognised as the authentic exco, so by law, it will not be advisable to use either of the exco for the primary election.”
“We want Nigerians to know there is a case in court and the APC cannot go ahead and do indirect primaries as the party constitution unequivocally states that direct primaries will be held in any state where there is dissension or factional excos. But from the look of things, APC is heading towards the same thing that happened in Zamfara.”
Also commenting on the matter, Mohammed Audu, one of the frontline governorship aspirants said the Kogi state government, led by Governor Yahaya Bello is afraid of direct primaries because he is not popular among APC members in the state.
Audu, who is the eldest son of Prince Abubakar Audu, a former governor of the state said Governor Bello is jittery because if there is direct primary where every member of Kogi APC is allowed to participate, the governor cannot secure the party’s ticket for the election.
“I personally think that the present government is afraid of opening the process of selection and that is why they have chosen to go by the way of indirect primary.”
“The indirect primary is closed, if you are a politician and a true democrat, you will want everyone to participate in the process of selecting you and I dare the government to say they are going by the way of direct primary today, I am sure they will bid the people farewell.”
“If they do direct primary that every Kogi person that is a member of the APC is allowed to participate, no doubt we will come tops.”